Illustrating the effect of progressive technology and traditional prayer are two recent life-saving stories from Los Angeles Pregnancy Services, one of the agencies available through the App for Life (developed through a partnership with archdiocese’s Office of Life, Justice and Peace and Options United, a Pasadena-based nonprofit).
At age 27, Jessica Hernandez was raising four children ages 3 to 7 with her husband Victor when in January — to their surprise, because he’d been told he couldn’t father any more children — she learned she was pregnant.
Victor also had just been laid off from a job and had lost his car. “In my mind, I was sure we shouldn’t have this baby,” recalls Jessica. “It seemed like too much to handle.”
But on the day she was to visit an abortion clinic, she waited two hours for a bus that never came. “That should have told me something,” she says with a wry smile. She ended up taking a cab to the clinic, and watching a video about the abortion procedure that made her cry. “Could I really do this?” she wondered.
Back home, she received a brochure that talked about life “as a gift … what God wants … how we are called to accept it,” she says. “That got me thinking more.”
She contacted Los Angeles Pregnancy Services and soon found herself getting an ultrasound where she heard her in-the-womb baby’s heartbeat. She saw a picture of her unborn daughter.
And then she learned through LAPS that people she’d never met and may never meet were praying for her via the App for Life. A parishioner at St. Rose of Lima in Maywood, Jessica began reading Scriptural references to life and abortion. She has also received numerous, and welcome, calls from LAPS, just to see how she is doing.
She and Victor — who has since begun working two jobs to support his family — are determined to carry their child to term, joyfully so.
“Now,” says Jessica, “I know that God listens to prayer, and that people care.”
Evelin Perez, a young pregnant mother, sat nervously, worrying about what she should do. Her boyfriend was not supportive of her pregnancy, she had lost her job, and her dreams of a career were melting away.
How could she have this baby alone? How could she support him alone?
Evelin felt more conflicted than most women in her situation, because she wasn't a few weeks along, she was a few months along. In a moment of despair, she began searching the Internet for a way out.
On a Sunday last year, Evelin phoned Los Angeles Pregnancy Services, where a hotline counselor offered to help. The following day, a discouraged Evelin arrived at LAPS' downtown L.A. office, where she received a warm greeting from Alma, a LAPS counselor. Alma listened to her, and offered to help her through her crisis.
Alma would find Evelin a maternity home to live in, so she'd have peace, safety and emotional support. Alma would help her find resources at the local college she attended, so she wouldn't have to choose between her career and her baby.
Holding a fetal model of her unborn baby, Evelin smiled. Feeling supported and encouraged, she chose life for her baby.
She took home some gifts for him, including a story book. "I want to read to him while he's still in the womb!" she exclaimed with a joyful smile. She visited an LAPS pro-life doctor and saw once again the image of her beautiful child.
When she returned months later to LAPS, holding her newborn baby boy, she shared the following:
"When I first called I was totally lost. I am so glad you answered my call because I was so confused about what to do. Coming to LAPS was the best decision I ever made. Today I have my baby boy Moises ("Moses"). What a perfect name for him, because sometimes I think that I didn't choose him. He chose me.”
—Mike Nelson and Astrid Bennett